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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-10-18

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 198/10 16-18.10.10 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu meets European Ambassadors in Lefkosia
  • [02] Eroglu: We have clear views on the FIR issue
  • [03] Davutoglu comments on Fules impressions in Cyprus
  • [04] Kucuk: opening of the fenced off town of Varosha part of a comprehensive Cyprus settlement; Turkish Cypriots can never be a minority
  • [05] Opening of the occupied closed city of Varosha still on the agenda
  • [06] Debate on the Turkish proposals on the property issue
  • [07] Murat Kanatli asked for the opening of more crossing points
  • [08] AKPs policy for Cyprus, an opportunity for Turkish Cypriots
  • [09] DPs Youth chairman calls for passport instead of ID
  • [10] Taner Dervis: The property Lordos demands belongs to Vakif
  • [11] Oykun: A new hospital in Karpasia is a prerequisite, given the rise in population
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [12] Cyprus conclave
  • [13] Erbakan elected leader of Felicity Party
  • [14] German President to visit Turkey
  • [15] Radikal daily merged with Referans daily
  • [16] Davutoglu to sign free trade deal with Gulf countries
  • [17] Highlights

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    The meeting of Dervis Eroglu with the ambassadors of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland to Lefkosia, statements by Ahmet Davutoglu after meeting with Stefan Fule, the opening of the occupied closed city of Varosha, the proposals submitted by Eroglu on the property issue, reaction to the opening of Limnitis crossing point and other internal matters are the basic issues covered by the Turkish Cypriot press over the weekend.

    [01] Eroglu meets European Ambassadors in Lefkosia

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.10.10), the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu had a meeting on Friday with the Ambassadors of Sweden, Ingemar Lindahl, Norway, Sverre Stub, Denmark, Bent Wigotski and Finland, Jean-Marc Rives. The meeting was closed to press.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak (online, 17.10.10) reports that Eroglu is travelling to Kayseri on Tuesday to attend the 31st Council meeting of the Turkish Journalists Federation. Kayseri Journalist Association Board of Directors has selected Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu as the statesman of the year. Eroglu returns 21 October after completing his contacts in Turkey.

    [02] Eroglu: We have clear views on the FIR issue

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (16.10.10), the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has said that the FIR is an important issue and that it has not yet been discussed yet in the negotiations.

    In statements during a meeting with the chairman of the Air Traffic Controllers Association, Toycan Ozdogalar, Eroglu reiterated that they are working for a lasting agreement in which the Turkish Cypriots will live on this land with honour. Pointing out that the FIR is an important issue, Eroglu noted: We have not entered into this issue yet, but our FIR is also an important issue and we have clear views which we will put forward when it comes onto the agenda in the negotiations.

    Eroglu said that he is expressing more comfortably his views in the negotiations because he feels the trust of the people.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Davutoglu comments on Fules impressions in Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak (16.10.10, online) that during a press conference at the Turkish Embassy in Brussels, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey will not hesitate to make any contributions to the Cyprus negotiations process if needed.

    Davutoglu said he met with British Foreign Secretary William Hague during the NATO meeting. Besides regional issues, the Cyprus problem and Turkey-EU relations were taken up during the meeting.

    He added that the Cyprus issue and Turkeys EU membership process were also discussed during his meeting with the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule.

    Responding to a question about Fules impressions in Cyprus, Davutoglu said: He is very interested in the Cyprus issue as he observed how the Cyprus issue, which is a political problem and has nothing to do with membership negotiations, was made an obstacle in the process.

    [04] Kucuk: opening of the fenced off town of Varosha part of a comprehensive Cyprus settlement; Turkish Cypriots can never be a minority

    According to Bayrak (17.10.10, online), the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) and self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk, noted in a written statement that the issue of the opening of the fenced off town of Varosha can only be realized as part of a comprehensive Cyprus settlement.

    He also alleged that the main reason why a solution has not been found to the Cyprus problem is because the Greek Cypriot side still refuses to find a solution based on the realities of the island and believes it can return to the pre 1974 era. He added that the Turkish Cypriot side is continuing to work towards finding a permanent solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Kucuk also evaluated the Republican Turkish Partys (CTP) executive committee views about the fenced off town of Varosha as benefiting the Cyprus President Christofias and complicating things further for the Turkish Cypriots.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (18.10.10) reports that during the opening day of the 7th traditional Eco Day organized at the occupied village of Komi Kepir, Kucuk said that the event also preserved the existence of the Turkish Cypriot culture adding that the Turkish Cypriots are one of the owners of Cyprus and their roots go back all the way to the past.

    Noting that no one can make the existence of the Turkish Cypriots on the island a subject of discussion, Kucuk said that the Turkish Cypriots have lived in Cyprus for centuries and cannot be referred to as minorities. He added that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, who is negotiating at the Cyprus talks, has based his policies on this principle.

    [05] Opening of the occupied closed city of Varosha still on the agenda

    Under the title The agenda: Varosha, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (18.10.10) reports that various views are being expressed on the issue of the opening of the occupied closed city of Varosha under the control of the United Nations, following the declaration last week by a group of intellectuals from occupied Famagusta. People living in the open area of Varosha expressed the view that the opening of the closed part of the city would be a positive development. A mini survey by the paper in the above-mentioned area, people said that nothing has been gained until today by keeping Varosha closed and using it as trump card in the negotiations. Moreover, they described as unacceptable the approach of the Turkish Cypriot leadership and the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs which totally opposes opening of the occupied closed city.

    Participants in the mini survey said that the Turkish Cypriot leadership develops policies at the negotiating table on a negative mentality axis and added that the Turkish Cypriot expectations and views should be brought to the table. They said that the opening of the closed city of Varosha will be a gesture of good will and it will most probably play a significant role in strengthening confidence between the communities. They also expressed the belief that the opening of Varosha will bring a serious activity in the economy of Famagusta and northern Cyprus.

    Participants in the mini survey said that Eroglu is not sincere in the negotiations and noted that since he says he wants a solution by the end of 2010, he should open Varosha.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Debate on the Turkish proposals on the property issue

    The debate, which started last week between the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) on the one hand, and the National Unity Party (UBP) on the other, continued over the weekend. Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (16.10.10) reports that Talat issued a written statement replying to the criticism made by the UBP against him. Referring to the Cyprus problem, Talat recalled Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglus letter to the UN Secretary-General after his election and his commitment that he would continue the negotiations from the point Talat left them. Talat accused the UBP of not knowing that the proposals submitted by Eroglu on the property issue were prepared during Talats period.

    The Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (18.10.10) reports that UBP replied to Talat, saying inter alia, that Eroglus proposals on the property issue have no relation with Talats mentality or with what Talat came close to accept. We cannot enter into details because the issue is sensitive, but it should be known that Mr Eroglu is trying to fix the damage caused by Mr Talat at the table, notes the statement.

    Moreover, under the title has Eroglu lied to the parliament? Sami Ozuslu reports in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (18.10.10) that during the briefing of the Turkish Cypriot political parties on the Cyprus talks last week at the self-styled parliament, Dervis Eroglu said that he had submitted the proposals prepared by Talat on the property issue. Commenting on UBPs statement, Ozuslu argues that either Eroglu lied or a distortion exists in UBPs statement.

    Ozuslu recalls that after briefing parliament, Eroglu stated that all the parties sincerely supported his proposals on the property issue. Ozuslu notes that during a television programme he asked CTPs leader Ferdi Sabit Soyer to clarify how they supported Eroglus package of proposals. Soyer replied that the package had been prepared by Talat and the CTP had fully supported it. Eroglu took the package we had supported and put it onto the table, Soyer said.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Murat Kanatli asked for the opening of more crossing points

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (14.10.10) Murat Kanatli, executive board secretary of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), stated that the joy concerning the opening of the Limnitis crossing point is partial as it was hoped the opening would cover Limnitis-Pirgo-Kokkina. Kanatli added that efforts will continue for the development of the area.

    He also stated that it is now the appropriate time to open of new crossing points at Deryneia and Apliki areas and to consider seriously the opening of a crossing point at Athienou area as well.

    (AK)

    [08] AKPs policy for Cyprus, an opportunity for Turkish Cypriots

    A report in the Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (18.10.10) with the above headline refers to comments to Cihan News Agency on the latest developments in Cyprus and the possibilities for a solution by Dr. Mehmet Hasguler, advisor to Eroglu and Cyprus specialist in the International Strategic Research Organisation (USAK), and Dr. Tufan Erhuman, member of the Talat negotiations team and assistant Dean of Law School in Eastern Mediterranean University. According to the two academics, AKP is the government which best defended the interests of the Cyprus people and AKP is an opportunity for the Turkish Cypriots.

    Hasguler thinks that the UN report, prepared by Downer, will be important for the solution while Erhuman believes that it will not be critical of either side. Moreover, Erhuman argues that the Turkish side should not expect more regarding the Direct Trade Regulation, since Greek Cypriots will limit the positive aspects of the regulation for Turkish Cypriots.

    Hasguler points out that the opposition in Turkey should behave more sincerely and criticizes Kilicdaroglus statement If it were me, I would open Varoshia. Commenting on the same statement Erhuman said that it shows how distant Kilicdaroglu is from Cyprus politics and added that Varoshia is part of an overall solution.

    Erhuman claimed that in the three months remaining until the end of the year, a solution is not possible, but this is diplomatic language which shows that the Turkish side is eager for a solution. According to Erhuman: It is not possible for the two leaders to agree at the negotiations table. The Cyprus problem can only be solved at an international conference. with an international conference at the end of 2011, a solution could be found.

    Moreover, Hasguler argues that if there is no agreement by the end of the year, we should not think that Turkey does not have a B plan and continues: In such a case it is possible to start the process, where the TRNC will find its place in the international community as a new entity, by giving land and underlines that the north is ready.

    [09] DPs Youth chairman calls for passport instead of ID

    Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis (18.10.10) reports that a delegation from the Democratic Partys Youth Division visited the Turkish Embassy in the TRNC and had a meeting with the 1st Undersecretary, Hakan Cakil.

    Ozturk said problems in the TRNC were discussed. He said the need was underlined for the use of passports instead of identity cards to enter the TRNC from Turkey in order to prevent criminals coming.

    [10] Taner Dervis: The property Lordos demands belongs to Vakif

    Under the title A new game from Greek Cypriots for Famagusta, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan reports in its front page on the application filed by the Greek Cypriot businessman Andreas Lordos to the Property Compensation Commission, demanding return of his entire immovable property, and 115 millio Euros as compensation. The paper cites statements by Taner Dervis, former chairman of Vakif administration that Vakif Administration has documents proving that the property that Andreas Lordos is demanding belongs to the Vakif Foundation. Dervis also stated that instead of paying compensation to Lordos, compensation should be demanded from him. Dervis also said that he will make further statements on the issue in the following days.

    (AK)

    [11] Oykun: A new hospital in Karpasia is a prerequisite, given the rise in population

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (18.10.10) reports that the so-called mayor of occupied Gialousa, Ozay Oykun, called for the opening of a fully equipped hospital in the Karpasia area. He also said that social and cultural centres as well as government departments should open in the area.

    Oykun argued that in order for the Karpasia area to develop and progress economically, the state should help and added that the construction of a hospital and similar investments in the area is a prerequisite related to the continuous population increase. Oykun also called on the state to take back plots allocated to investors for tourist development, but have not been developed.


    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    The visit of the German president Christian Wulff, the continued reaction for the missile defence system, the election of the 84 year old Necmettin Erbakan in the leadership of the Felicity Party (SP), elections for the new members of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors, the expected EU report for Turkeys progress regarding EU membership and other internal issues are the main subjects in todays Turkish press.

    [12] Cyprus conclave

    In a commentary in Hurriyet Daily News (17.10.10), under the above title, Yusuf Kanli views Egemen Bagis proposal for a four-party meeting following a Papal Conclave style (Review 197/10, 1), arguing that this frequently-voiced idea is a rehashed version of the original proposal made by US President George Bush in early 1990s, having convinced the then Turkish President Turgut Ozal.

    Should there be a Cyprus compromise resolution, both leaders on the island would have to undertake very serious and painful compromises that neither of them would be willing to shoulder, Kanli argues. However, he adds, if such a meeting is facilitated by the United Nations Secretary-General and if the EU and the permanent five members of the Security Council attend as observers, the two leaders may place the burden of whatever their people might find objectionable in such a deal on them, thus save their own political fortune.

    Furthermore, even if the 1960 guarantee scheme might not be touched in a manner outraging the Turkish Cypriots, Greek Cypriots would be accorded a firm guarantee of the EU and the P5, and thus their concerns with continued Turkish guarantee would be soothed, Kanli adds.

    He points out that it is not yet clear whether Bagis proposal is an official Turkish suggestion or whether it is backed by the international community, though, he adds, Bagis would not have made such an important proposal without the consent of Erdogan and Davutoglu.

    In view of the EU assessment of Turkeys compliance with the demand to open up its ports and airports to Greek Cypriots and the fact that and the Cyprus talks do not promise a resolution by the end of this year, a crisis is in the making, Kanli argues and points out that Bagis is also rehashing an old idea, mutual lifting of all sanctions on and over Cyprus with Turkey opening its ports and airports to Greek Cypriots and the EU allowing direct trade from north and flights to and from the Turkish Cypriot Ercan airport [occupied airport of Tymbou]. For a change, the EU must take ideas of Bagis very seriously in order to avoid a severe road crash with Turkey, Kanli concludes.

    [13] Erbakan elected leader of Felicity Party

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman (18.10.10, online) reports that Necmettin Erbakan, the 84-year-old honorary leader of the Felicity Party (SP), at the demand of the partys delegates, was elected to the party s leadership at the SP s extraordinary party congress yesterday.

    The SP was shaken by an intra-party conflict when the party s former leader, Numan Kurtulmu, emerged victorious in a dispute with Erbakan on the party administration list during the party s fourth grand party congress in July. Kurtulmu, who was placed under pressure to resign after July s congress, parted ways with the SP early this month and decided to establish his own party.

    Erbakan received 684 votes out of 687. Three votes were recorded as invalid.

    Addressing the congress, Erbakan criticised the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and claimed that his own party will come to power in the general elections to be held in nine months. Erbakans children Fatih and Elif, who were excluded from Kurtulmu s party administration list in the party s July congress, were also elected to senior posts in the party.

    Eleven years ago Turkey s Constitutional Court ruled to shut down Erbakan s then-ruling Welfare Party (RP) on grounds that it sought to overthrow Turkeys secular system and set up an Islamic state and banned him from politics. Erbakans political ban was removed last year.

    [14] German President to visit Turkey

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.10.10), German President Christian Wulff will pay an official visit to Turkey between October 18-22. Wulf, who is the first German President to visit Turkey in a decade, will be accompanied by a delegation of senior German officials as well as leading businessmen.

    A Turkish Presidency press release said bilateral as well as regional and international matters will be discussed in detail, and views will be exchanged on ways to foster cooperation and friendship between the two countries.

    Wulff is expected to address the Turkish Parliament in Ankara and then proceed to Kayseri where he will attend the Business Forum. He will also visit Tarsus and Adana.

    [15] Radikal daily merged with Referans daily

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman (18.10.10) reports that the Radikal daily has presented its readers with a new tabloid size and new columnists under the editorship of Eyüp Can. The Doan Media Group recently decided to merge Referans, a daily economic review, and Radikal and replaced former Radikal Editor-in-Chief 0smet Berkan with Can. The new Radikal circulated yesterday.

    [16] Davutoglu to sign free trade deal with Gulf countries

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.10.10) reports that during the 2nd high-level strategic dialogue meeting between Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council in Kuwait on Sunday, the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey wants to sign a free trade agreement with Gulf Cooperation Council countries as soon as possible.

    Speaking at the meeting, Davutoglu said: We have taken action recently to establish a high-level cooperation council with Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. We have decided that trade, transportation, energy and tourism are our priority cooperation areas. We will welcome friendly regional countries participation in the mechanism allowing free movement of people and goods among these four countries. He added that Turkey considers Gulf Cooperation countries as its natural economic partners.

    Turkey's trade volume with Gulf Cooperation countries reached 16.6 billion USD between 2002 and 2008. Trade volume decreased in 2009 because of the global financial crisis. But it rose 25% to 5.5 billion USD in the first seven months of 2010. Direct investments by Gulf Cooperation countries in Turkey exceeded 10 billion USD. On the other hand, Turkish contractors have undertaken many projects worth of 20 billion USD in those countries in the last seven years, he said.

    Davutoglu said that agriculture ministers from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries would pay a visit to south-eastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region in Turkey in the coming months as guests of Turkey's Agriculture & Rural Affairs Minister Mehmet Mehdi Eker. We also attach great importance to construction of a railway line to connect the regional countries to each other. Also, we can cooperate in energy, he said.

    Davutoglu also said that Turkey wants to remove visa requirements with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

    Established in 1981, the Gulf Cooperation Council is a political and economic union involving the Persian Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

    [17] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 15-17 October:

    a) Headscarf issue/CHP divided over Gul's reception

    Most Turkish columnists focus on rifts inside the CHP [Republican People's Party] as well as on the dilemma the party faces whether to attend the 29 October Republic Day reception to be hosted by President Gul to which officials' wives wearing headscarf have also been invited.

    Yeni Safak (15.10.10) carries a front-page report highlighting a statement by CHP that it will not attend the 29 October Republic Day Reception. The paper adds that this means that CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has failed "the first test of sincerity" regarding his pledge to solve the headscarf issue.

    A front-page report in Yeni Akit (15.10.10) slams the CHP, asserting that the change of leadership in the CHP has not entailed a change in this party's political "mindset."

    Star (15.10.10) columnist Samil Tayyar criticizes Kilicdaroglu for succumbing to pressure from the old-guard within the CHP who are in favour of boycotting Gul's reception.

    Taraf (15.10.10) columnist Ahmet Altan describes the CHP's decision as "an impolite and childish gesture" and a kind of discrimination and racism.

    Fehmi Koru in Yeni Safak (17.10.10) considers the boycott as the politically wrong, arguing that is tantamount to the CHP denying the reason for its existence.

    Cevdet Akcali of Yeni Safak (17.10.10) details all the attire and other bans imposed during the Ottoman and then the Republic period, and concludes that Turks have the instinct of imposing bans, demonstrating thus the authority of the state. Akcali underlines that Turkey cannot advance if it does not get rid of its instinct of imposing bans.

    Milliyet (15.10.10) carries an interview with Ali Bardakoglu, Head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, who emphasizes that the headscarf should be regarded as a matter of freedom rather than an issue related to secularism or Islam. He says: "A person's rights should not be violated if she covers her head and nobody should be hurt because she does not do so."

    b) Missile Defence Issue

    A report entitled "NATO's missile plan" in Hurriyet (15.10.10) says that PAC-3 ballistic missiles are proposed to be deployed along Turkey's Black Sea coast under the missile project entitled "Phased Adaptive Approach", discussed by the foreign and defence ministers of NATO members yesterday. Turkey has informed its allies that it can accept the project only if missiles are deployed under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty which stipulates that an attack against an ally will be regarded as an attack against all allies and Iran and Syria are not named as threats in NATO documents.

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News (15.10.10) entitled "Ideological divide between Turkey and the US grows," columnist Semih Idiz says that Washington sees Turkey playing a very key role in the proposed missile defence system against Iran. Pointing out that Ankara is moving away from its traditional allies and partners in the West because of its disappointment with the US and EU stance toward Turkey, Idiz notes: "If this NATO project gets widespread support in NATO, Turkey could easily end up having to choose between the alliance and Iran. Five years ago Ankara's choice would have been predictable. It no longer is so and this carries the seeds of yet another crisis with the US and the EU along the ideological divide mentioned above."

    In an article in Hurriyet (15.10.10), columnist Ferai Tinc wonders whether Turkey will oppose the missile project in order to avoid hurting her relations with Iran. She concludes saying: "This process is open to bargaining. I do not think that the AKP's [Justice and Development Party] support can be taken for granted especially ahead of the election. Its approval will be facilitated if no country, including Iran, is named as a potential target in NATO documents. In brief, Turkey will not stay away from this project."

    In an article in Milliyet (15.10.10) entitled "There will be no peace under the shield," columnist Guneri Civaoglu argues that the missile project will be a real headache for the Turkish government because its opposition to the idea could lead to a dispute with the United States which he describes as the "big brother" while its approval could end the honeymoon in relations with Russia and Iran. He predicts that the Turkish government may postpone its decision until after the parliamentary election in 2011.

    In an article in Star (15.10.10) columnist Beril Dedeoglu points out that there are various factors that could prevent Turkey from rejecting the project despite its drawbacks. She says: "Russia is making similar investments in the Caucasus and Armenia is one of the examples. Iran is in the process of developing missiles which means that our neighbours are involved in similar activities. Meanwhile, Turkey may not be the only option for the United States. There are other alternatives, including Greece, Cyprus, Georgia or northern Iraq. Furthermore, the issue may prompt public pressure related to debates over 'shift of axis' once again. I hope that this system will become a NATO strategy and assume a multi-national aspect."

    In an article Yeni Safak (15.10.10) entitled "Why are US-Israeli missiles coming to the Iran border?", columnist Ibrahim Karagul criticizes the US statement urging Turkey to participate in its missile defence project as a move aimed at setting Turkey against countries like Iran, Syria, and Russia with which it is preparing to establish "new partnerships" and destroying the results of its efforts in the past decade to build good neighbourly relations in its region.

    Vatan (16.10.10), citing a Washington Post article on the missile defence shield against Iranian and Korean long-range missiles, argues that the talks between the United States and Turkey are revolving around the siting of the X-Band radar system both on Turkish soil as well in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

    Semih Idiz in Milliyet (16.10.10) says that Turkey wants the new missile defence system to be defined as a collective NATO project without naming Iran, or even Russia, as its target. Seeing that it cannot satisfy both the United States and Iran at the same time, Turkey is hoping that the NATO summit in Lisbon on 19 November will fail to reach a consensus on the issue.

    Star columnist Mahir Kaynak, (16.10.10), says that the US project has more political than military goal, it aims at preventing Turkey from joining the Iran-China camp, adding that Turkey might indeed look for new alliance arrangements if it perceives that the United States is a diminishing force.

    In his column in Hurriyet Daily News (16.10.10), Ilhan Tanir says: "It appears that Turkey wishes to take its time before it decides on the matter, perhaps leaving a decision until as late as November, when the NATO summit convenes. Nevertheless, the U.S.-led NATO leadership has taken a decisive turn, leaving very little room for Turkey to manoeuvre, or oppose the alliance's new strategic step. What will or can Turkey do beside support the new vision, willingly or unwillingly?"

    Writing in Hurriyet Daily News (16.10.10), Oya Dursun says: "Most recently, in September 2010, Turkish Air Forces held a joint aerial manoeuvre with their Chinese counterpart, raising concerns that Turkey is further moving away from the West. It is against this background that NATO is expected to announce its New Strategic Concept in Lisbon, Portugal on Nov. 19-20, 2010, outlining its future focus, capabilities, and formation. This will prove significant in setting the tone of the relationship between Turkey and NATO. Accordingly, analyzing the strategic preferences of Turkey regarding the New Strategic Concept is essential for both drawing a complete picture of the current state of Turkey-NATO relationship and making healthy projections on its future." The columnist adds: "Despite a number of negative developments between Turkey and the Euro-Atlantic partners, it is in Turkey's interest to help sustain NATO as a central actor in international security and keep its central role within the Alliance. Turkish interests align with a more effective Alliance."

    Yeni Safak's (16.10.10) Ankara representative Abdulkadir Selvi writes that the missile shield project will pose a problem for Turkey. There are those who propose that we participate in the project in a bid to make a return to the Western alliance with which we had a fall out as a result of the flotilla incident and the voting on Iran and to end suspicions about a shift in axis, notes Selvi, adding: " With this project they want to push Turkey, which has established its relations with its neighbours on a zero problem foundation, to the position of being the gendarme of the United States in the region." The report examines the goals of this project directed against Iran and Russia and concludes that this process will be a test as to whether Turkey can become a leading country.

    Yeni Akit (16.101.10), Abdurrahman Dilipak dismisses scenarios of perceived threats against Turkey, adding that problems will be solved through negotiations just as Turkey has done in the case of Syria. The West's perception of threat is Iran, writes Dilipak, adding: "In actual fact, these policies do not serve the interests of NATO and the United States. They are the tactical initiatives of Israel and the Zionist Lobby." The writer urges Turkey to oppose the West's militarist plans and to stand against plans to become the cheap military depot of the West.

    Sunday's Zaman (17.10.10), Dogu Ergil assessing the US proposal to deploy a missile defence system in Turkey argues that since Russia does not currently pose a real threat to the West or to NATO, the system will be directed at Iran. Raising the likelihood of an American or an American-backed Israeli attack on Iran, Ergil predicts that "Turkey may be one of the immediate NATO targets of Iran if it is attacked by other NATO countries."

    Writing in Milli Gazete (17.10.10), Abdulkadir Ozkan focuses on the negotiations the United States is holding with various countries on the issue of the missile shield system. Noting that the Turkish leg of the project is aimed against Iran, Ozkan argues that these missiles are not for the protection of Turkey but for that of Israel. The writer further notes that slogans such as "no to US missiles, yes to the NATO project" aim to deceive our people, adding that NATO is equal to the United States.

    c) Turkish-French ties

    In Today's Zaman (17.10.10), Abdullah Bozkurt writes that the situation in bilateral relations is far from desirable, arguing that "France is fast losing the 'privileged partnership' status it had maintained for years with Turkey, to newcomers from the south and east of the border." The writer adds that there is a belief in Ankara that French companies are not reliable partners when it comes to crucial multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects in the energy, defence, and transportation sectors.

    d) 71,538 telephones wiretapped

    Radikal's (17.10.10) Deniz Zeyrek reports on his visit to the Telecommunications Communication Directorate. (TIB) and points out that "71,538 telephones are officially wiretapped," recalling that tapes of wiretapped conversations are made public almost every day. The report adds that yesterday, the TIB -- the only institute authorized to wiretap in Turkey -- recorded all the activities of 75,538 telephones listed in 15,870 separate court decisions, notes Zeyrek, adding that the recorded data include conversations, short messages, faxes, and electronic messages. While 6,538 out of 15,870 court decisions allow "judicial wiretapping" for collecting evidence, the remaining 8,352 are within the scope of "intelligence" activities against terrorism and organized crime conducted by the National Intelligence Organization, (MIT), the gendarmerie, and the police. According to the Direct or Fethi Simsek, the TIB does not listen to recordings; it only digitally records the requests and sends them to MIT, the gendarmerie, or the police. Zeyrek also reports that the TIB can reach the infrastructure of all land and GSM lines, except for the in-house fiber optic lines used by the General Staff and intelligence organizations. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EG


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